COLORED STONE UPDATES from Colored Stone Magazine ( USA ) July-August 2004

•  Fine large red spinels have been coming out of the Namya stone tract. Namya spinel is known to be red – comparable in color to the best red ruby. The mine owner reported that mining of 1ct to 3ct gems is promising, but large red spinels of 10cts and above are very rare. Only one or two five-carat spinels are found every year. Burma spinel prices are rising because of limited supply and strong consumer demand. The prices of gem red spinels are currently over $1,000 per carat in Burma . The "electric red" two carat material is fetching $2,000 per carat wholesale.

•  Fine Ceylon star blue sapphire has risen 30% in price the last six months. The reason is when these stones are heated and the silk removed, the heated blue sapphire is worth double the price of the star. New wholesale prices for one to three carat stars are $750-$1200 per carat. Naturally, Burma blue stars are rarer and trade for higher prices. Large sizes can go for more than US$3000 per carat.

•  True North Gems Inc, a Canadian mineral exploration that's built a niche for itself by mining gemstones in northern climes, has acquired the option to a new property: the Fiskenaesset ruby district in Greenland . Fiskenaesset rubies are found in amphibole-rich rock. They are reported to have unusually high chromium content and fluoresce strongly under UV light. The color ranges from pink to “pigeon's blood” red.

•  French researchers from the National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (INPL) in Nancy , France and France 's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) have announced a method of tracing emerald origin using the ratio of oxygen isotopes in a sample. The ratio provides the equivalent of a GPS reading to the region in which the stone was mined. As each signature is unique, researchers use them to distinguish between emeralds from Colombia , Madagascar , Russia , Zambia and Brazil . Fred Ward, author of Emeralds, says, “Some dealers don't really want a quick and inexpensive test, because they are calling anything that looks pretty good Colombian and getting away with it. However, if you have legitimate Colombian emerald with papers to prove it, you could probably sell them for a higher price than those from Brazil or Africa .”


BIG GEMS SALES AT CHRISTIES from Colored Stone Magazine ( USA ) July-August 2004

The Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on May 19 saw the sale of two significant colored stones: More than $100,000 per carat was paid for a 9.35ct unheated Burma ruby , and a private collector spent over $35,000 per carat for a 27.54ct Kashmir sapphire. Interest in colored stones peaked with the sale of a magnificent Burmese ruby and diamond necklace designed by Cartier in 1937 for the Maharaja of Nawanagar, which sold for more than $2.3 million.


GIA ADOPTS GEMEWIZARD from Colored Stone Magazine ( USA ) July-August 2004

Gemewizard Inc has announced that it is collaborating with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to integrate its color communication software into the GIA colored stone program. The Gemewizard software was designed to assist jewelers and gem dealers in communicating gem colors, managing gem inventories, and special-ordering loose colored stones and diamonds for customers. Developed using a database of more than 100,000 digital gem images, Gemewizard is capable of combining thousands of gem colors with 15 common cut shapes to represent the desired gem. Creator Menahem Sevdermish, a gemologist, gem trader and manufacturer, launched the existing Gemewizard system in January 2003. The original system will be modified to integrate with GIA's existing color communication system, which uses 31 hues to describe color. This modified system is scheduled to be beta-tested in the GIA classrooms in late 2004.